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so many different religions and a first amendment that protects religious freedom that we don't have one religion rising to the surface or competing or two or three. well, one thing we wanted to do with our new version of beliefs and believers is to go to a part of the world where we do see more of the tensions between religion, and the spot we picked on, dare i say, was israel and then to some extent egypt. and we wanted to go to israel in particular because there isn't such a diverse cultural environment in terms of religion, so that the tensions are, in some senses, watered down. as we all know, unless you've been meditating in a cave for the past 20 years, israel and the social environment in israel is very tense in terms of the relationship between the three great faiths that actually share something of a cultural tradition- judaism, christianity, and islam. and so what we- we have an extraordinary opportunity, and something like a great risk. i'm surprised david ainsworth, our executive producer, hasn't come out and read this e-mail message i sent to him about three days before
with language and religion become critical to the success of the mission. you have this person who is born enslaved and lives as enslaved person on a college campus, then leave this extraordinary life afterward. >> you also talk about race science, the search for cadavers for scientific research at these universities. >> one of the things i wanted to do with the book was to try and explain how slavery and the slave trade provided the of higher education in north america. but i also wanted to explain the role that colleges played in perpetuating slavery in the slave trade, and that is where you get to the race science. that is where becomes critical. it is precisely on campus the ideas that come to defend slavery in the 19th century get refined. intellectualr legitimacy on campus. they get their scientific veneer on campus. they get their moral credentialing on campus. i wanted to trace that process. one of the ugliest aspects of that is the use of marginalized people in the americas, in the u.s., enslaved black people, often native americans, and sometimes the irish. they are expended -- t
about the same things. in this vast and varied nation, differences in religion, education, region, class, gender, race, and ethnicity produce a broad spectrum of views about the political world. even when people have similar backgrounds, they often have different opinions. we wish everyone would just think like us, but they don't. as a wise old saying puts it, "never talk politics with someone you just met." for those trying to implement the public will, this great diversity of opinion makes it difficult to even define public opinion -- which public are we talking about? of course, none of this stops political leaders from engaging in a constant search for public opinion, employing ever more sophisticated and expensive methods. the truth seems to be that this search is like the quest for the holy grail. as soon as sometng that can be called public opinion is identified, it changes. for "democracy in america," i'm renee poussaint. annenberg media ♪ for information about this and other annenberg media programs call 1-800-learner and visit us at
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